Larry Simpson speaking at NatureTalks event (Photo by NCC)

Larry Simpson speaking at NatureTalks event (Photo by NCC)

NatureTalks: Impact & Innovation

October 17, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019
Reception: 6 p.m. | Presentation: 7 p.m.
Cardel Theatre - Calgary, AB
Admission by donation at the door

A showcase of research supporting conservation action

Join us for an evening to celebrate impact and innovation in conservation science. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) created the Conservation Science Impact Fund (CSIF) to support conservation research and build knowledge to enhance conservation, habitat stewardship and biodiversity in Alberta and beyond. The evening’s speakers are the first round of recipients of grant funding from the Conservation Science Impact Fund. They are excited to share their research and the effect it has on the future of conservation in Alberta.

RSVP: or 1-877-231-3552 ext. 7214


Cardel Theatre
180 Quarry Park Blvd, Calgary, AB T2C 3G3


Suzanne Marechal (NCC)Suzanne Marechal (Photo courtesy Suzanne Marechal)

Topic: Bow Watershed Hydrologically Significant Area Mapping
Suzanne Marechal has both a B.Sc. in ecology and an applied bachelor’s in GIS. A diversified career path has provided her with opportunities to work in the oil and gas, municipal and environmental sectors. An outdoor enthusiast with a life-long passion for exploring natural spaces, Suzanne is pleased to be part of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, working to protect important natural areas and biological diversity. She is especially delighted to be working collaboratively with NCC and other land trusts to prioritize hydrologically significant areas in Alberta’s watersheds, a project that has grown to include the Oldman, Bow and Red Deer river basins.

Jeff Bectell (Waterton Biosphere Reserve)Jeff Bectell Headshot (Photo by Jeff Bectell)

Topic: Carnivores and Community Program
Jeff Bectell is the coordinator of the Carnivores and Communities Program of the Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association (WBRA) in southwest Alberta. This program works to help local landowners manage the challenges of supporting large carnivores on their farms and ranches. Jeff is a past chair and current board member of the WBRA. He chaired the steering committee of a cumulative effects study (Chief Mountain Study) in his area. Jeff earned a B.Sc. degree in zoology from the University of Calgary before returning to the family ranch, which he now operates with his wife, Liz, and their children.

Trevor Reid (NCC)Trevor Reid (Photo courtesy Trevor Reid)

Topic: Aerial Monitoring: Using high-resolution imagery for conservation planning and monitoring
Trevor Reid has been working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada for more than eight years. As a GIS professional, he is dedicated to incorporating innovative methods for using spatial information technology to enhance conservation decision making. With a life-long passion for the outdoors and natural spaces, working with NCC has provided Trevor the opportunity to apply his technical skill set to something he believes is critically important. Trevor obtained a degree in geography from Lakehead University before continuing west to complete a Geographic Information Systems degree at Selkirk College. He currently lives in Nelson, BC, with his partner, Anisa, and their twin six-year-old daughters.

Megan Jensen (Miistakis Institute/NCC)Megan Jensen (Photo courtesy Megan Jensen/NCC staff)

Topic: Pronghorn Xing Citizen Science App
Bio: Megan Jensen grew up in Calgary, Alberta, but spent most of her free time camping and fishing north of the city on a property her parents owned west of Bowden, Alberta, on the Red Deer River. She moved to Lethbridge to pursue a post-secondary education in environmental science. During this time, Megan worked with the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) on the Pronghorn Resource and Enhancement Monitoring Project and with the Multiple Species at Risk (MULTISAR) program. Megan continued working with ACA and MULTISAR after she completed school, until relocating to Medicine Hat in 2016. She then started working with the Miistakis Institute in 2017 as the Medicine Hat project coordinator for the Pronghorn Xing program and for the Nature Conservancy Canada as the natural area manager for southeast Alberta, both of which allow her to continue her passion for working in Alberta’s grasslands.


Craig Harding (NCC)Craig Harding, manager: conservation science and planning, AB (Photo by Craig Harding)

Bio: Craig Harding completed his BSc in ecology with a minor in geography at the University of Western Ontario. While completing his undergraduate degree, he was involved in research focused on insects, bats, yeast, small mammals and plant ecology. These experiences led him to Belize, the Rocky Mountains, Sonoran Desert and more locally in southwestern Ontario. He moved to South Africa in 2012 and spent the next three years engaged in research and conservation initiatives in a very different part of the world. There he worked with fruit bats and birds, learning about the interactions between climate patterns and animal behaviour. After a year in the Kalahari Desert, he moved to Cape Town to study African penguins and completed an MSc in conservation biology with BirdLife South Africa. During this time he studied movement patterns of African penguins in relation to food availability and the disturbances they face from fishing pressures. Following his time in South Africa, Craig returned to Canada and worked for the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, collecting habitat and species data between Edmonton and Wood Buffalo National Park. After a summer re-acclimatizing to the Canadian weather, he started working for the Nature Conservancy of Canada and has been with the organization for the past four years.

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